It’s no longer Mother Nature’s best kept secret that Belize has an astounding collection of wildlife living within the 170mi (274 km ) by 68 mi (109 km)of this unique little gem of a country, with many familiar and many not-so-familiar species cohabitating in the huge pristine expanses of protected wilderness. One of the many things we like to do here is introduce some of our lesser known animal friends to the world, and this week we’ve chosen that nocturnal little scamp, the kinkajou.
More Good News for Air Service to Belize. Yes, it is great news that major airlines are keeping up with Belize’s growing popularity by offering more and more flights each year. Last month we posted that United Airlines was expanding its air service from Chicago to Belize with new direct flights beginning December 20 2014, and now we have even more good news for travelers. Delta airlines has just announced that, beginning December 4, it is adding four weekly seasonal flights to its Atlanta, Georgia – Belize City run. This is in addition to the eight weekly round-trip flights to Belize it currently offers year round.
All of us here at Chaa Creek are wishing our many friends to the north a very happy Independence Day. As we’ve mentioned several times here, Belize and the United States have enjoyed a long and friendly relationship based on mutual respect. Having both started out as British colonies (and both enjoying excellent relations with Great Britain), we share a common language, as well as having Spanish as a second language. And ties between our two countries have become closer than ever in recent years. The US is home to the largest Belizean population outside of Belize, and each year more Americans are investing in and moving to Belize to enjoy the tranquil lifestyle, wonderful climate and generous retirement incentives.
As the Huff Post pointed out in “Why Belize Is The Perfect Surf-And-Turf Vacation”, and the Star Tribune in “Belize serves up surf and turf vacation of Maya Ruins and mind-boggling sea life”, Belize is unique in being able to offer discriminating travellers the chance to explore ancient Maya temples and cities one day and enjoy some of the world’s best diving, snorkelling and swimming in pristine Caribbean waters the next.
The first Houston Caribbean Queen (HCQ) Pageant, billed as “a cultural, educational, and festive event that seeks to celebrate the talent and intellectual abilities of young Caribbean women” was held on June 28, 2014 and it seems only fitting to us that the very first HC Queen is a talented young Belizean, Rheisha Shol. Rheisha was born in the national capital of Belmopan and moved to Houston, Texas with her family, where she currently attends Texas State University.
Summer in Belize: Why I’m going Back!
The arrival of the Summer Solstice means many things to many people around the world, with Druid fans congregating around Britain’s Stonehenge, people wanting to get in touch with the ancient Maya vibe at Chitzen Itza in Mexico, Tikal in Guatemala and Xunantunich in Belize, and farmers the world over consulting their almanacs.
To me, the Solstice sounds a gentle alarm – from here on in the days get shorter and the nights get longer …
Good Neighbour Belize Takes Helm of SICA
Belize assumes the presidency of the Central American Integration System, or SICA
Have you heard?
Prime Minister Dean Barrow recently travelled to the Dominican Republic to assume the presidency of the Central American Integration System, or SICA as it is more widely known, in a move that furthers Belize‘s reputation as a significant player in the Central American region.
The closer ties envisioned by SICA member states also bodes well for regional tourism, and especially throughout the …
Yes, summer is now well and truly here. At Chaa Creek, celebrating the summer solstice is part of a local tradition going back thousands of years. Long before western telescopes came into use, the ancient Maya were busily recording the solstices with astounding accuracy and marking the exact day with ritual celebrations. The Summer Solstice, widely considered to be the first day of summer, falls on June 21 in the northern hemisphere, making it the longest day of the year. And, of course, June 21 in the southern hemisphere is the winter solstice with the shortest day of the year.
It’s that time again to celebrate the opening of lobster season in Belize and show our appreciation for this gastronomic delight. Yes, all over Belize fishermen are out catching, cooks are preparing and diners are consuming the yummy bugs, as Caribbean Spiny Lobsters are known locally. And to celebrate the opening of the lobster season, several Lobsterfests are held around Belize, providing a rare opportunity to not only gorge on these delicious crustaceans, but participate in great community events as well. Here’s a list of the main fests, followed by some facts about rock lobsters that 80s band the B 52s for some reason left out of their tribute song.
By happy coincidence, just after posting the recent Birds Of Belize Blog (Birding in Belize – Six of the Best Spots 17 June 2014), we’ve received reports of a new International Development Bank program to train and certify Belizean tour guides in the highly specialised field of birding. Funded by the IDB and delivered by the Belize Audubon Society, the USD$ 2.6 million project budget will be shared by Belize, Bahamas, Guatemala and Paraguay. Speaking at the project launch at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City, Amanda Burgos, Belize Audubon Society’s Executive Director said that the Belizean funds are earmarked for introducing birding as a specialized field of study for tour guides.
The company said it is adding flights from Chicago’s O Hare airport to Philip Goldson International in Belize City, with a Saturday service scheduled to run through to May 2015, depending on government approval. Great news for visitors from the Windy City, as well as the substantial Belizean diaspora living in the Chicago area. With Delta Airline’s direct Los Angeles to Belize City flights that began last year, and joining American and Continental Airlines as well as USAir ways and TACA servicing Belize from Miami, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Charlotte, New York and Los Angeles, and given the close proximity of Belize to major North American hubs, paradise keeps getting closer for our American friends.
Belize sits within the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, which stretches from Mexico through Central America and is home to a diverse range of birds and wildlife, helping to make the little country a birders’ paradise, with some 618 resident species and visiting migrants sharing the rich biodiversity of Belize. At Chaa Creek alone, the Birds without Borders project, conducted in conjunction with the Zoological Society of Milwaukee and Foundation for Wildlife Conservation, recorded 308 different species within the eco-resort’s 365-acre private nature reserve. And while Chaa Creek is one of the best places in Belize for birdwatching (small wonder it was picked for the Birds without Borders project), there are other renowned spots north, southeast and west where our feathered friends congregate. Here are five more guaranteed to whet any birder’s appetite.
Calling grandparents the “unsung heroes” of the family unit, Chaa Creek’s marketing administrator, Roberto Harrison, said the new “Summer of Love” Belize vacation package offers a complete Belize experience by combining an inland jungle adventure with a Caribbean beach holiday for one affordable set price. The “Belize Bathing suits and Hiking Boots’ all-inclusive vacation package is presented as a partnership between The Lodge at Chaa Creek and Chabil Mar Villas on Belize’s Placencia Peninsula, offering travellers a rare opportunity to split their holiday between Belize’s Maya temple-studded rainforests and the uncrowded Caribbean coast for one low set price, Mr Harrison said.
Mango trees have been in Belize as long as anyone can remember, and long before commercial cultivation they were seen in many a yard and scattered along roadsides, often growing as a result of someone tossing away a seed after a snack. Villagers along the coast in areas such as Gales Point Manatee would load up dories (dugout canoes) and make the long haul up to Belize City to sell them in the markets. Mangos are now commercially grown, but the backyard variety is still the mainstay of local consumption, with reputations made or broken on the strength of one’s mangos.
They are the most populous mammals on the planet and one of nature’s greatest success stories, and depending on your perspective are either cute vegetarian flying foxes or scary Bela Lugosi vampires. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, bats are here to stay and, once you get to know them, you’ll be glad.There are more than 1100 different kinds of bats sharing the planet with us, from the tiny Kitti’s hog-nosed, or bumblebee bat of Thailand and Burma – the world’s smallest mammal, up to flying foxes with six foot (two metre) wing spans. Making up a quarter of all mammals alive today, bats are found all over the world.
San Ignacio, Belize is a small lovely town located on the Cayo region of the country and mere minutes away from the border with Guatemala. Considered as the heartland of the Belizean Mayan World, San Ignacio has its fair share of cultural and adventure attractions, even for those who travel with a tight budget. Here are 7 top cultural attractions in this western town of Belize, Central America.
Don’t worry, this nautical wonder is here to use its powers for good, marking the start of the US “Southern Partnership Program” in Belize, which is a US Naval deployment working with Belizean counterparts in port security, technical and medical support, patrol operations, operational risk management and other areas. With the US Military’s recent “New Horizons” program also assisting villages in medical care, Belize seems to be the beneficiary of a stronger US presence in the region. And let’s not forget the recent confirmation of Carlos R Moreno as US Ambassador to Belize, a choice we applauded due to Mr Moreno’s impressive legal credentials and personal history. Yes, Washington DC seems to be taking little Belize seriously these days.
The holidays are over, you’re stressed out and the winter blues have set in. It’s time to get away. As you start to plan your vacation, do you consider how much good your trip could do for others? Some of the world’s most breathtaking destinations are now being managed sustainably, which means that in addition to benefiting your own mental health, your next trip could also benefit the environment and local communities. Here are 10 reasons to travel sustainably:
After our vacation at Belize’s Chaa Creek earlier this year, I rave about the place all the time and have confidently steered a few friends in that direction. I say confidently because I have no doubt that no matter what their ages or interests, anyone will find something there to please and even excite them.